It’s hard to find any upside to the whole Covid nightmare as it wreaks havoc into yet another year. Nevertheless, we’re doing what we’re able, vaccinated and visiting whatever countries permit American Lepers through their gates. Belize is one such country, clearly recognizing the need for a return of tourism dollars. This is not a destination I would have relished pre-Covid, fighting through crowds of boozy budget travelers. At the moment though, you really have the place to yourself. Many of the major ruins sites were completely empty, with us as the only visitors for the entire day. It made a normally common tourist destination feel much more off the grid. I think we saw comparable numbers of tourists in Afghanistan and Belize, if that puts things into perspective.
In terms of what this visit entailed… frankly, it was a very run of the mill inland itinerary. We stayed at an all-inclusive “resort” (quotes intentional) that is on the site of some Mayan ruins (Cahal Pech) and made day trips around to different ruins and animal attractions. It was clear that under normal circumstances these would all be massive group activities. In Covid world, almost every day was a private tour with the exception of our “ATM Cave” tour, where another couple went with us. If you’re like me and you’re really put off by group tour activities, now is the time to check off some Central America stops. Countries in this region are reopening, they’re hungry for tourist dollars, and you’ll have an unforgettable private or semi-private-tour most likely.
I can’t say that Belize is a repeat stop, but we definitely had a great time. Loved the Tapirs! Apparently those weird little cuties will trample you to death in the wild, but in the captive setting they are incredibly endearing animals. No matter your agenda in Belize: beach, SCUBA, adventure, or eco-travel… definitely make a stop at the Belize Zoo.